The big goal of business is to maximise profits. For hotels the relevant factors can be simplistically grouped into guest relationship; revenue management; costs management. As well as handling the day-to-day tasks, your PMS is the KEY DATA COLLECTION POINT for these areas.
A ‘Next Generation’ PMS understands WHAT is important, WHY it is important and HOW to use it to maximise your profits.
Guest Relationship is an area with many different threads. Getting your Guests to spend more and to return are the keys. Guest behaviours (transactions) should build your database, as should information from customer surveys, reward programs and Guest preferences. Guest Relationship management is a discipline of its own and your PMS should be passing the Guest information it gathers to specialised hotel CRM’s such as GuestFolio or InnTouch to individually or collectively communicate with Guests, conduct surveys, slice and dice your Guest database to repeatedly reach your most valuable and most likely to return Guests.
Revenue Management has books and books written about it! By default your PMS includes almost every bit of information needed because it handles this on a booking by booking basis, the lowest common element. A ‘Next Generation’ PMS will record masses of daily data and allow you to apply the analytics you need, for example to compare what is happening now for a future period against what has happened in the past for the same future period, where the trends are heading, where the maximum profits are to be had, what is needed to achieve them.
Costs Management is often the hardest area to track as costs come from diverse areas and aren’t usually collected by your PMS. However, a good PMS will address costs in several ways. Budgets for comparison against forecasts, analysis of the Cost of Bookings (Travel Agents, OTA’s, etc.) tools that reduce your costs such as Guest contact that incents Guests to return and to book direct, Housekeeping modules that create efficiency, interfaces to Building Management Systems, etc.
A ‘Next Generation’ PMS offers Cloud Hosting, Central Reservations, Central Office Reporting and Management, integration with all other systems, affordability and most importantly - high quality local support. The evolution of PMS’s is constant and if you are choosing a PMS, select one where the company that provides it has a proven history, listens to what you want, are in tune with what’s happening in your market, understand what’s going on in the broader accommodation world and apply this accumulated learning to their product.